Sept. 29 (UPI) — At least 22 people are dead and nearly 40 people were injured at Mumbai’s Elphinstone railway station in a bridge stampede on Friday.
The fatal stampede began around 11 a.m., when officials say several people tripped and fell on the crowded bridge linking the Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations.
Officials attributed the stampede and the deaths to heavy rainfall which contributed to more people using the already overcrowded bridge for shelter.
Railway experts and daily commuters, however, believe the railways are to blame, citing that the footbridges are unequipped to handle the daily crowds.
“This accident will hopefully be a wake-up call for the minister and his officials,” one Parel resident said. “Instead of fancy bullet trains, they should first ensure railway commuters don’t die horrid deaths like this because of their negligence.”
Calling it a man-made disaster, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said on Friday, “such accidents could have been avoided had there been proper planning and concern for safety.”
Government officials made clear they would compensate the families of the dead with roughly $8,000 and planned to pay for the medical expenses of those injured.